Aph Ko's New Book is Available For Purchase

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You can purchase the kindle version now and pre-order the print version (which will be released later this month) on Amazon. Shout out to EastRand Studios for creating the cover and the illustrations.

In this scintillating combination of critical race theory, social commentary, veganism, and gender analysis, media studies scholar Aph Ko offers a compelling vision of a reimagined social justice movement marked by a deconstruction of the conceptual framework that keeps activists silo-ed fighting their various oppressions—and one another. Through a subtle and extended examination of Jordan Peele’s hit 2017 movie Get Out, Ko shows the many ways that white supremacist notions of animality and race exist through the consumption and exploitation of flesh. She demonstrates how a critical historical and social understanding of anti-Blackness can provide the pathway to genuine liberation. Highly readable, richly illustrated, and full of startling insights, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft is a brilliant example of the emerging discipline of Black veganism by one of its leading voices.

Praise for Racism as Zoological Witchcraft:

You have never read anything like Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: a Guide to Getting Out, which draws on history, critical race theory and pop culture to make compelling arguments about the impact of white supremacy both on race and our treatment of animals, especially given the dehumanizing nature of racism. Partially informed by Jordan Peele's Get Out, but drawing on a wide variety of research, Aph Ko helps us envision a world beyond our limited notions of 'intersectionality' to chart a course for a more humane future. - Tananarive Due, UCLA (The Sunken Place class), American Book Award winner 

Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out is a sophisticated throwdown about how we can re-think anti-racist and animal rights activism(s) in a modality more nearly adequate to our profound entanglement in white supremacy’s comprehensive and hydra-headed monstrosity.  Liquefying arcane academic theory in popular culture fluidity, Aph Ko offers a voice at once critical, generous, and polysemous. Her Afro-futurism relentlessly tracks the racialized animality of white cannibalism that eludes “sighting” in discrete discourses and intersectional advocacies.  The multi-dimensional liberation she conjures demands a political hearing from anyone laboring for a different future. - James W. Perkinson, Professor of Social Ethics and Theology, Ecumenical Theological Seminary

Aph Ko’s Racism as Zoological Witchcraft is a fascinating, groundbreaking, thoughtful work that shows nuanced relationships between systems that historically dehumanize people of color and the consumption of animals as food. This transformative framework is as disturbing as it is enlightening. Aph Ko steadfastly demonstrates that veganism can be more than a matter of health and lifestyle - that plant based diets can be a  radical practice in valuing the aligned rights of all living beings on Earth as well as a practice in dismantling systems on our planet that devalue humanity. - Ytasha L. Womack, author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture

Aph Ko’s Racism as Zoological Witchcraft is an exciting hands-on theoretical guide to white supremacy’s grounding in “zoological racism,” a violent devouring of the bodies, souls, and lives of all it deems “animal,” both nonhuman and human. This “guide to getting out” also illustrates the dangers of supposedly liberatory movements that do not recognize “the animal” as the source of violence against animals as well as black people, ultimately providing its readers with the intellectual tools to imagine and enact “afro-zoological resistance” and liberation for all—what could be more important or inspiring?!? - Lindgren Johnson, author of Race Matters, Animal Matters: Fugitive Humanism in African America, 1840-1930

“Aph Ko's brilliant analysis on zoological racism and movement politics is transformative, challenging everything readers think they understand about racism. By framing white supremacy as a zoological witchcraft practice, she cuts across genres and offers something completely new, linking race and animals in a powerful book that is sure to wake readers up.” - lauren Ornelas, Executive Director, Food Empowerment Project

In Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out, Aph Ko has written an accessible argument rooted in theory that is imminently readable and will have broad appeal. In her argument for what she calls “epistemic ruptures,” Ko has created a compelling treatise against making current activist movements merge, arguing instead that our conception of “the animal,” as a label for consumable and disposable bodies, is tied to the legacy of racism that operates by virtue of zoological, white supremacist witchcraft. Using examples from popular culture – including Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out – Ko examines the tension that exists between contemporary anti-racism and animal rights movements and argues for an examination of “raw” oppressions that can move the conversation beyond modern day liberation movements in ways that intersectionality has been unable to achieve. - Laura Wright, author of The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror

Aph Ko’s work is at the center of a conceptual Big Bang. Theorizing beyond increasingly stale notions like diversity, speciesism, and intersectionality, she takes us back to the “raw oppression” itself. She guides our hands towards the one weapon that has characterized every true movement against oppression: recognizing the incomplete nature of our current justice movements. The scholarship is as rigorous as it is accessible and refreshingly inspiring. Her insights not only challenge all of us concerned with racial and animal oppression to imagine new pathways forward, but to recognize that much of Black thought from Frederick Douglas to Angela Davis already had gone beyond a vision of racial justice or human dignity to open toward a vision of freedom for all life. - Aaron S. Gross, Associate Professor, University of San Diego and the founder of Farm Forward


FEATURE: Kush

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Kush is a Reggae singer born in the Ivory Coast (West Africa) now based in California. He has been performing in many parts of the world over the years and released 4 albums. He gained a following in the United States after joining Southern California roots Reggae band "Bloodfiyah Angels" in 2003. Kush is also known for his work with legendary Jamaican producer Scientist. Kush now performs and records as a solo artist with his band of seasoned musicians.

I became vegan 20 years ago because I never felt like a “meat-eater”, however, I ate meat because my family did. I ended up learning the effects of animal products on our bodies like animal fat, milk, and how all of those products are not easily processed by the human body. I noticed that anyone someone was unhealthy, doctors prescribed a more vegan-oriented diet, never the other way around.

It is really sad that we still have to remind others that Black lives matter, but I think that the best resistance against racism is through discipline and self reliance. The more knowledge we have and the more independent we are, the less likely we are to feel the effects of racism even though it's always there.

Human beings have a tendency to disturb other beings in order to enjoy their lives. The more advanced we get, the less we need to do that.

Every living being should have the right to go through their lives according to what nature intended for them. Eating animals today is purely to satisfy our taste buds as opposed to doing it to survive. I agree with Gandhi when he said that humans are intelligent enough that they shouldn't have to kill to survive.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: www.kushreggaemusic.com

Facebook: facebook.com/kushreggaemusic

Instagram: Kush Reggae Music


FEATURE: Kevin Black

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I went vegan for ethics. The idea of eating another sentient being never sat well with me. Although I never had a dog, cat, or anything like that and I never grew up on a ranch or near a farm, I loved animals and had an appreciation for all life.

When I became a freshman in high school, I joined a program called F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America). I began to learn much more about agriculture and animals in general. After around nine months of joining, I started becoming really depressed about being in the program. I realized that there was nothing "humane" about any of it. However, they kept labeling all their practices humane, even when you heard the animals crying and screaming.

After my freshman year, my family moved to a new city and I left my high school's F.F.A. program and held that sadness of the "humane" aspect until my sophomore year. I didn't know what to do and being vegetarian sounded too hard for me at the time. When junior year came, I still felt the same way. However, I became mad at myself for not trying to change my food habits. I felt lethargic and had constant heavy breathing problems every day. Due to this, I decided to change my eating habits for the better. Still, my weight problems didn't go away and neither did any health problems that were arising.

When senior year came, I decided it was now or never. That September, I went vegan...for a week. Unfortunately, I genuinely forgot that I went vegan and ate a piece of fried chicken. It was a real low point in my life. Then, four months later in January 2016, I officially went vegetarian. As an avid meat eater and an overweight senior in high school, everyone laughed at the idea of me being vegetarian. However, I was determined - I decided to cut out my favorite meats first so that it would be an easier transition. I removed hamburgers from my diet - my all time favorite food at the time. Then I removed lamb, chicken, and more. I'm already lactose intolerant and hate the taste of cheese, therefore, the milk aspect was easy to overcome. A month and a half later, the last thing I cut out was eggs and I became vegan. Three years later, I am now a happy, more understanding vegan.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram/Twitter: @ItsKevinBlack/@ItsKevinBlack

Kevin is also the author of a new book titled Dear Mom: A Nursery Rhyme Book for Moms. You can purchase it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and anywhere else you shop for books.

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FEATURE: Judy Brangman, M.D.

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I initially decided to try a vegan diet because I started to gain a few pounds. Also, my mother had been saying for years that if I stopped eating dairy that my acne, nasal congestion, and allergies would resolve. So I initially tried a vegan diet to lose the few pounds. I also hoped that my allergies and acne would clear up. I tried it for one month at a time, off and on, without really committing to it. I gradually started to incorporate more plant foods into my diet starting in 2012. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up. I initially thought that baking and cooking without eggs would be challenging, but I soon found that it is not that difficult to bake the same items without eggs and have a similar texture and taste. It just takes some creativity and experimentation. The main benefit that I noticed when I stopped eating dairy was that my acne completed resolved and my skin cleared up. 

Also, I completed a course in plant based nutrition and learned about the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry, as well as the health benefits. I also started to research how animals were treated on CAFOs. Since 2013, I have learned so much about plant based nutrition and the benefits for our health, the environment, and animal welfare. It is also the most compassionate and kind diet for our environment and all animals. I feel better, sleep better, and have more energy on a vegan diet.

Some people may feel that a vegan or whole foods plant based diet is restrictive. However, I see it as freedom.

Social Media & Website:

Website:  https://www.theplantbasedmd.com

Twitter/Instagram:  @theplantbasedmd / @theplantbasedmd

Facebook: The Plant Based MD

FEATURE: Ariel Calhoun

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I chose veganism for a variety of reasons. One being love, enlightenment, and mastery. I believe love cannot be categorized. Frugivores and vegans are your lovers. That's the missing ingredient to life and society. Things should always be done with love.

The Standard American Diet left me docile, with no creativity - almost as if I were sleepwalking through life. I would pass out immediately after large meals and I had no idea this was all attributed to my diet. I found videos on Dr.Sebi and started my path to veganism and understanding how much food plays a major role in our lives. I feel more inclined to be the trial and error person so I can influence others to make the changes as well. Respect should be given to all living things on this planet no matter how minute.

I believe in having the ultimate control over our bodies. Once you can control what you eat and drink you are on your way to mastering yourself. That's something that truly fascinates me. I believe we all have the innate ability to take this world, our world, your world, to the next level. I believe the foods we consume elevate us or deplete us. I believe natural fruits and vegetables should be the only staple in life to obtain or revitalize our healthy bodies. I've experienced countless relatives and friends who have had high cholesterol and diabetes from unhealthy eating habits. If I can influence others to try it for at least a month, I know something can be proven during that time. Veganism is the future.

Training page: Lifeofversatility

Vegan cooking page: Veggin_out_

Website: Vivaveganplan.com

FEATURE: Kenna

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Kenna is 19 years old and she has been vegan her entire life. She has a vegan YouTube channel called Kenna Rose. She is Cape Verdean. She runs a blog called Teen Vegan where she posts vegan recipes.

Since being vegan is so natural to me, sometimes I forgot there’s another way to be. I asked my dad why are we vegan and he said ‘’Why wouldn’t we be vegan?’’ For me and my family, eating animal products doesn’t make sense when there are so many options now. Food has always brought my family together. My mom and dad are very creative and we have something new every week. Recently, we made chick’n fajitas with vegan chick’n. It’s amazing how many vegan products there are now.

Being vegan connects to anti-racism for me. Historically, my people have generally had unhealthy diets, mostly because of food deserts and big corporations marketing unhealthy foods to us. In 2019, I’m hoping that more and more people have the resources to better their diets, I’m seeing change and I hope it continues.

People are realizing their food comes from animal cruelty and don’t want to contribute to that anymore. Ive recently posted a short blog post about my black vegan experience, which you can check out here .

I have a vegan Instagram called @themessyveganteen for recipes and food ideas.

My other Instagram is @kennaxrosa, I also post recipes and blogs on there!

FEATURE: Christopher Eubanks

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I became vegan for a variety of reasons, but the heart of why I became vegan was because I no longer wanted to contribute to the suffering of innocent beings and I wanted my diet to have a positive impact on the environment. Before becoming vegan, I never fully grasped how my diet and actions contributed to suffering until I began to learn why and how animals are turned into food. Once I became educated about how consuming animals negatively impacts the environment, I no longer wanted to consume a diet that was harmful to the earth, harmful to innocent beings, and harmful to my spirit. When I realized I could have the same delicious foods I have always enjoyed but without any animal suffering, I not only changed my diet, I also adopted a vegan lifestyle. Not supporting animal cruelty doesn’t just stop with my diet, it extends into my way of life as I aspire to live a vegan lifestyle that aims to eliminate all forms of animal suffering which has inspired me to become a vegan activist. Whether attending animal vigils, giving animal rights lectures at universities, or creating content for my vegan YouTube channel I plan to always use my talents and skills to promote the message of veganism. We must remember that we are all animals and for us to end all forms of oppression and inequality we need to extend our circle of compassion to include all animals, both human and non-human and that is why I am vegan. 

Website: www.SoulEubanks.com
Instagram: soul_eubanks
Twitter: @soul_eubanks

FEATURE: Annika Lundkvist

When I became vegan in 2014 I felt like my glass was very full. I was all in immediately, incredibly thirsty for knowledge, and quickly aware of great resources all around me. I was, however, admittedly almost singularly focused on issues of consumption. I was not really aware of issues related to representation until later. Awareness about consumption issues is an absolute foundation layer for me as a vegan- getting familiarized with the issues driving this movement including the major motivators of animal rights, sustainability and environmental health, as well as human health. But getting into issues of representation became a finer, still essential, point to me, particularly as both a minority and a producer of visual content myself. I became aware of who I was depicting in my work and being more conscious of representing that diversity that frankly I've been seeking to cultivate as a hallmark of my overall photographic style that represents me best as well.

I look forward to more conversations on these themes, both personally and professionally. Veganism is a way of life for me and definitely informs the work I do.

Make sure to check out my website where you can find my work: http://veganforallseasons.com/.

Annika has recently released an interview series about vegan pregnancy, parenthood, and childhood. Check out her interview series HERE